What Really Works for Weight Loss?

Oprah pulling fat

If it was out of the bag?

What really works for weight loss? No this isn’t going to be some sales blog for all my products, etc. I know what works, the same old sage advice “Diet and Exercise”, but what if you know what works, but you just can’t make yourself “do it”? That’s where I’m at. I just don’t have the motivation and some of the stuff I’ve done in the past doesn’t work as well now that I’m older and “post menopausal”. LOL.

I was getting in and out of the shower today and was looking at my body. I know, don’t hate, and I don’t. I just don’t like very much and it doesn’t feel as good as it did when I weighed what I am supposed to. I remembered how flabbergasted I was when I saw the picture of Oprah pulling 65 pounds of fat behind her in the wagon as a representative of all the weight she had lost this particular time. That led me to remember a WeightWatchers leader mentioning about getting a pound of fat and take it home and play with it, feel it, look at it. Yuck! So I was thinking how ugly that 65 pounds of fat would have been if Oprah had unleashed it in the red wagon instead of having it all neatly packed into the bag.

I’m thinking I’m really tired of making the same old resolutions this year that end up not being kept (doesn’t say much for my integrity does it? LOL). I think this year I’ll make a resolution to get more motivated by buying a couple pounds of fat. I can see a roll of fat that runs under my boobs across the front and then it kind of indents, and then the big belly fat below that if I was 30 yrs. younger someone may mistake for a small child growing inside. LOL. But my skin is sort of like the bag around the fat in Oprah’s red wagon. It keeps it somewhat contained. I think it’s time to unleash it and see what it’s really like, figuratively speaking of course. See if that works any better than anything else I’ve tried to stay motivated. Desperate times call for desperate measures. LOL.

Anyone else with any new ideas for staying motivated to lose weight in the new year? I’d love liposuction, but then that would lead to plastic surgery, and then, OMG where does it end?

Oh, speaking of losing weight and good food, I added a link to a food blog today. There is a beautiful recipe for Christmas pudding on there, that if you’ve ever wanted to try it or even see that it’s a real food, this is the place! A ton of recipes. Not all “diet friendly”, but I know how to substitute for most things. Like I said, I know what works, I just may not always do it. LOL.

Happy Holidays everybody, what ever that is for you, and Merry Christmas, Happy New Year for me.

Dieting During Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving dinner

Traditional Thanksgiving

Are you dieting while trying to make it through the holidays? It just seems wrong doesn’t it? Makes me think God has a sense of humor. He gives us all this bounty and if we partake in it we will be “waddling” until next year when we do it all again.

I’m not going to bore you with all the statistics like so many people will gain at least 10 pounds between now and after the New Year, or how many people end up in the hospital every year because they don’t clean all the stuffing out of the turkey before they put it away in the refrigerator. I’m not going to put up a bunch of recipes of food that no one wants to eat because they are so strange, even if they do cut 300 calories off of a traditional side dish.

I’m just going to share with what I do to shave the calories and the fat, but still be able to enjoy all the usual Thanksgiving dinner dishes.

I substitute eggbeaters for everything that calls for eggs. About a 1/4 cup is equal to 1 egg, although some say on the side of the carton to use 1/3 cup for baking. I use Land o’ Lakes fat-free half and half, or Carnation canned skim milk for anything that requires milk. Last but not least I use Country Crock Shedd Spread, or something similar for anything that requires oil or butter.

It is totally amazing how much fat and how many calories you can cut just making these small changes. I haven’t quite gotten the hang of substituting Splenda for sugar, but I’m working on it. I just prefer to experiment sometime other than the holidays with my pies. LOL. Using the items listed above instead of the whole fat stuff works well and no one seems to know the difference if you don’t make the mistake of bragging about it.  The minute you tell someone it’s all “low fat” of course there will be someone who complains or says it doesn’t taste “quite right”. This is one secret you want to keep to yourself.

To A Skinny St. Patrick’s Day

Oh no, I didn’t mean me. I meant leaner corned beef. LOL. I know that on the WeightWatchers Rickter Scale (4pts. for 2 oz.) but I don’t care. I have waited a whole year for the price to drop back down to something reasonable, and I’m eating it! I usually buy very lean corned beef, I boil it with the spices for long enough to cook most the rest of the fat off of it, and the rest of the year it jumps back up to about $3.49 a pound vs. $1.59 to $1.79 a pound now. It’s not so much that $3.49 a pound is super expensive, it’s the principle of it.

I have a certain line I rarely cross when it comes to grocery shopping. I just won’t pay over a certain price for certain items. If I can’t get (diet) soda for $2.50 a 12-pack, then we drink water. I did buy eight 8-packs the other day, which up to this point I had refused to buy because I think it’s more grocery trickery, but hey, it was only $1.49 an 8-pack. Who could hold out on that?

I don’t pay $1.00 for tuna when it’s not even albacore. I don’t pay over a dollar a can for chili, or a dollar a box for mac and cheese. My son accused me of being addicted to shopping once because I stock up pretty good when something’s on sale for a decent price. I explained to him how much it irks me to pay full price for something when I know what it costs on sale. Mayo, $4.00 a jar. Ridiculous and now the jars are 2 ozs. less!

So for dinner I will be cooking corned beef, carrots, potatoes, and cabbage. I will fill up basically on the veggies, mainly cabbage at 0 pts. (which at one store is free with the corned beef), a few carrots and a red potato and figure about 10 pts. I know myself too well to think I’ll only have a 2 oz. slice of beef so I’m allowing for 4 ozs.

It could be worse. We could eat big slabs of bacon here like they do in Ireland. LOL

Pork Loin and Acorn Squash by WW

Sticking to my plan of cooking more WeightWatchers recipes last night I cooked a pork loin with acorn squash. Pork loin was on sale super cheap if you bought a big one, so I bought one that made about 3  three or four pound roasts. I usually don’t have a special fondness for pork loin because it always seems to come out so dry. This was really nice and there was glaze left in the bottom of the pan to spoon over the pork after it was cooked.

I need to get used to acorn squash again. With this glaze it had just a nice, slight orange and sweet flavor without overpowering it. The BF said it was really good and he knows not to say that if he doesn’t want to eat it again. LOL.

Usually when I do a roast I just sprinkle some tried and true combo of spices out of a jar, but this calls for a little salt, pepper, sage and garlic cloves. Here’s what I did.

  • 3 lb. pork loin roast
  • 1/2 TBLS. salt
  • 1/2 TBLS. fresh ground pepper
  • 4 TBLS. sage
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 6 TBLS. real maple syrup
  • 2 acorn squash, halved and seeded

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a roasting pan with foil. Spray foil with Pam or whatever you use. Rub roast with about 3/4 of your spice mix and garlic. Cook for about 20 min. Take the balance of the mix and rub around the edges of the acorn squash.

Take the pork out of the oven and put the squash, cut side down around the pork in the roasting pan, and shove back in the oven for about 30 min.

Mix the orange juice and maple syrup. Pull the pork and squash out of the oven and turn the squash cut side up. Baste everything with the orange juice and maple mix. Cook 15-20 more minutes or until internal temp of pork reaches about 160 degrees and the squash is done. Baste 2 or 3 more times while finishing the cooking. I finally on the last 5 minutes just poured what I had left all over everything.

Enjoy. If you’re counting points, this is approx. 7 points per serving. I’m open to suggestions if you want to put any in the comments below.

Wednesday Weight Loss Tips

I get so tired of the same old advice about losing weight. Everyone gives the same tips year after year, pound after pound. Occasionally I run accross good ideas that I’ve never seen before or some new news that I think is interesting to share. I think today is one of those days.

I was reading an article in my local newspaper (Wednesdays have the food and wine section) about freezing treats. I found this article interesting because 1) the writer is on her own weight loss journey 2) it made sense.

She freezes almost everything she eats to fulfill her sweet tooth desires from brownies to peanut M&Ms. Her idea is that it takes her so long to eat 2 Double Stuffed Oreos when they’re frozen compared to 4 to 6 she would have eaten had they not been frozen. Because it takes so long to eat them, they’re also much more satisfying. I can remember eating Snickers frozen as a kid. They would get so hard it would take forever to finish one. She does warn about being careful as you bite so you don’t crack a tooth.

She also freezes certain fruits and vegetables and eats them that way. I went to the store the other day and bought blueberries and grapes. She had mentioned these specifically (she’s addicted to frozen grapes) so I thought I’d give it a try. I didn’t have room in my freezer for the big bag of grapes, but did freeze the blueberries.

When they come out of the freezer it seems so strange. They’re beautiful, but they sound almost like you’re banging marbles together. I tried one and I really thought the freezing had taken a lot of the flavor away, but when I had a bunch in my yogurt this morning I thought they were quite the little surprise for the mouth. Now I’m looking forward to freezing the grapes with anticipation. I’m always looking for something that moves my hand to something healthy the way it likes to grab at cookies, so hopefully this will be an enticing answer. I like grapes a lot already but if it’s a choice between a handful of grapes and a handful of Doritos, sorry to say grapes aren’t the first thing I go for.

I know. Some old, sage advice. Keep cookies and Doritos out of the house. LOL.

I Try To Be Good And “They” Screw It Up!

Grahm crackers

Grahm crackers

Starting in kindergarten, graham crackers have always been the snack of the hour holding a special place in the hearts of most children everywhere. My love for graham crackers didn’t just stay at school during snack time though. My Dad used to break up graham crackers in a bowl, pour milk over them and eat them like a breakfast cereal. Just about anything my Dad did must be good, so I have carried on the habit and passed it on to my children.

As a dieter they were always the less evil choice between them and cookies. I was thrilled to death when they came out with the low fat version. This morning as I’m opening one of the pouches, getting ready to break some of them in my bowl, I couldn’t help but notice they now boast 5g of whole grain on the front of the box. If there really is whole grain in there, shouldn’t it boost the amount of fiber? As I’m reading through the ingredients to find what kind of whole grain, I can’t help but notice the high fructose corn syrup making the list. Now why on earth do they need HFCS when they brag about the honey that makes them “honey grahams”?

It just goes to show how important the little list of “stuff” on the side of the box really is. It’s so easy to be deceived by their fancy marketing tactics thinking we’re doing a really good thing towards our own health and obesity only to find we’ve been foiled again.

While Little Endorphins Dance In My Head

I thought this would be a great time to write a post, right after exercising! Yeah, I went. I joined the gym last Thurs. While I was there I saw a lady that could have been me. Standing on one of the machines like a treadmill but it has individual places to put your feet, like you’re really walking, trying to figure out how to run the darn thing. I felt sorry for her and knew right away I didn’t want to look like that. The unfortunate thing about a lot of these gyms is unless you’re paying for a personal trainer, you really have to ask for help. Nobody volunteers just because they see you in trouble. LOL.

Since then, Friday I didn’t go because I had a bunch of running around to do. I figure that’s exercise enough. Saturday and Sunday I didn’t go because it’s the weekend and I figured it would be too crowded. Yesterday I didn’t go because I had an early appointment on the other side of the hill, about 30 min. away and that turned out to be an all day excursion. This morning was it!

A business mentor that I follow quite a bit says you need to develop a routine to be more productive and take care of your health. My routine this morning was to not allow myself on the computer until I worked out, for starters. I had 2 cigarettes, a cup and a half of coffee and I was out the door by 7 am.  (I slept in a little today). I wasted some time getting going as I was looking up the routine I have chosen to follow. I needed a little refresher. I made the decision I was not going to be one of those people that pays notto work out. I did the treadmill slow and fast, slow and fast, for about 10 min. and 10 min. of circuit training. I feel like a tigress. grrrrrr. LOL.

WW Mustard Chops

WW Mustard Chops

I’ve also been doing pretty good with my WeightWatchers recipes, but I have discovered I’m quite the “ad libber”. I really don’t like to use oil to cook, especially if something already has a little bit of fat on it. I buy lean chops and usually use the little tiny strip of fat around the edge to grease the pan.

This was from their “Stir it Up: Super Skillet Cookbook”. I’m into “easy” and this certainly was.

You just fry up the chops until browned on both sides. Remove from pan.

Add 1/2 cup chicken broth, 1/4 cup of orange juice, and 2 TBSP dijon mustard. I used spicey brown. My Dijon had expired sometime in 2006. LOL. They also use 1 cup of orange sections. I did that this time, but I don’t know if I will again. I really didn’t care for them cooked.

Stir up everything with the pan drippings of the pork. Put the pork chops back in and finish cooking for 3 or 4 min. You’re set to go.

They were moist and delicious. I thought about serving sweet potatoes with them. I know some recipes for yams or sweet potatoes have orange juice in them also and I thought the flavor would carry through. Instead I did fried potatoes and onions, steamed veggies and applesauce.

WW uses a lot of “pork loin” vs. pork chops, but around here pork loin can get rather expensive so I just use pork chops, but make sure they are really lean or I trim them really lean. 1 average chop above is 5 points.

Last nite I lucked out and Tom cooked. He makes the best pork roast, sauerkraut and mashed potatoes, but he was thumbing through my book and decided to use their recipe which adds apples and apple juice. It was wonderful and the apple didn’t make it too sweet like I was afraid of. Yum, yum. I just have to remember 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes really is enough. LOL

I Love This Weight Loss Time Of Year!

The grocery stores are playing to all the people who have made “losing weight” their New Year’s Resolutions. I am so lucky in the way that the WW meeting is just a couple of blocks down the street and a few of them have been voicetrous enough that the grocery store a block from the WW’s meeting caters to WWs. I don’t know what the grocery stores are like in your neck in the woods, but right now I am stocking up on WW frozen dinners and Smart Balance margarine and oil.

Tonite is also the first of “DietTribe” on Lifetime. I’m anxious to see how this goes. I don’t know what happened to “How To Look Good Naked”. I thought that was a great show, but it was positive instead of tragic, so I guess not enough people watched. Pretty sad, aye? They did so much for women’s “self esteem” instead of just the weight issue. Oh “weight”, maybe they didn’t like it because women felt good about themselves even if they were still heavy. Unfortunately, a lot of us have a hard time telling the difference between “self esteem” and “body image”. I can tell after watching this for the first 10 min. I totally identify with these girls. Their goal is 30 lbs. in 90 days. I personally don’t think that’s unreasonable. 

The one thing about it is they were all a group of friends to start with, so they have the “group” to lose it with. We all know it’s easier with a buddy, this should be a piece of cake, aye? EXCEPT, there’s usually one out of  the five that just can’t get there. I guess we’ll see.

WeightWatchers is bribing me and any one else that will listen to come back. No registration fees so I’m going to go back. I figure I can use all the help I can get! I also joined a gym right around the corner from WW (another bribe, no contract, no big sign up fee) so I’m pretty excited. Let’s see how good I feel about it in March. LOL. 

 Oh, I almost forgot. My first recipe out of the WeightWatchers cookbook was chicken stew with dumplings (6 pts). It was sort of cheating because I already make chicken and dumplings, all I had to do was add the veggies that I usually put on the side. Daughter cooked her favorite casserole, so I didn’t have to cook last night and tonite the BF is cooking. I think everyone’s afraid of the cookbook. LOL

Using Weight Watchers Cookbooks

I have probably over a half dozen WeightWatchers cookbooks starting clear back to the original which I bought when I was 16 ( a whole lot of years ago). When I bought that original book, a lot of the recipes in there were really odd, like cooking cauliflower and blending it for “fake” mashed potatoes. That’s just one memory I can pull off the top of my head, but trust me there were many more. Actually one thing that book did for me was introduce me to a lot of new foods I had never had before and ended up liking. A few years later when my mother was living with me she enjoyed not only some foods she had never had before, but also some dishes using foods she previously didn’t care for. By then I was probably on their 3rd cookbook.

Now WeightWatchers has come so far and while I haven’t kept up with buying every cookbook, I have quite a few. I informed the BF today that I think I’m going to start picking dinners out of one of them every nite. I might as well put them to good use. God knows I paid enough for them (the collection, I mean). So I thought I would take a page out of “365 Days of Crockpotting” and see what I can do. Unlike the crockpot lady, I probably will have “lazy” days where I just cook something I know is ok or whatever, but for the most part I’m looking forward to trying some new food ideas.

They say that one of the dieting downfalls is boredom. Well hell, I get bored with my cooking now! If you could see the collection of recipes and recipe books I have you would wonder how, but I basically always cook the same stuff.  I might as well be one of those “Oh it’s Tuesday we must be having meatloaf” of “Oh it’s Friday we must be having fish” kind of people. (I’m not Catholic but I was raised with the old rules. LOL). I have actually caught myself wishing there was another kind of animal besides just beef, foul, pork or fish.

Christmas Food Traditions

At our house we’re a pretty traditional type family, which meands we pretty much cook and serve the same things year after year. One reason for this is to keep the tradition, the other is because my mother usually has a fit when we change things. LOL. She very rarely likes what new thing we try, altho my sister has had better luck at this than I have. I guess being the oldest I’m the one who is supposed to carry the family traditions through. LOL.

One of the dishes that was a tradition growing up was a thing called Strawberry Delight. My mother had told us years ago she had lost the recipe, so I haven’t made it in quite awhile, and I’ve missed it. It’s just as light as can be and such a great taste. Yesterday morning I spent a couple of hours hunting down the recipe on the net, but to no avail. While I could remember what didn’t go in it, I could not remember what did.

When my mother woke up I started questioning her, trying to get some information on ingredients and she asked why I didn’t just go get the recipe out of her blue notebook. Ughhh. Of course I make substitutions now since I worry more about my weight than I did growing up, but it’s still a wonderful fruit “salad” to serve with dinner or an excellent dessert after a large meal.

Our version of “Strawberry Delight” (Can be lemon if you prefer)

This makes a 9×13 inch pan and serves 12

My mother used to make this on the holidays and it was so good, but light as air.

The nutritional calculator seems to be off. I don’t know if I edited too many times or what! LOL
30 Minutes to Prepare 


Strawberries, frozen, unsweetened, 2 packages, thawed
1 large package Strawberry Jello prepared with 21/4 cups boiling water,
1 cup sugar (4 Tbsp for crust)
2 cans chilled, evaporated skimmed milk
Graham Crackers, low fat, plain, 48 large rectangular piece
1 cup low fat margerine


Using an 9×13 inch pan it yields 12 servings.
Mix strawberry jello and sugar (save 4 tbsp. for grahm cracker crust) with boiling water. Let cool till syrupy, then whip. Whip chilled canned milk. Whip milk and syrupy jello together, add strawberries and whip them all together.
Roll the 48 graham crackers fine. Add 4 Tbsp. sugar and 1 cup melted butter or margarine. Pack 1/2 mix into pan for a crust. Pour in Strawberry mixture. Sprinkle balance of crumbs evenly on top. Set in refrigerator to harden.

I’ll be posting some XMAS gifts either later today or tomorrow. I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday, which ever one you celebrate!